Posted: Wed 3rd Jun 2021
_To ensure that we stay up-to-date with the ever-changing needs of our community, I've been asking you to tell us what's most important to you as small business owners, what features on the Enterprise Nation platform you like (and dislike), and how we can improve on the service that we provide. I've gathered feedback through weekly focus groups, surveys and newsletters and I've fed this back to our platform and community teams.
I sat down with community manager Dan Adair-Wright to discuss your needs, and to find out what you can expect from the new-look Enterprise Nation platform._
Networking is an important part of being a successful business owner. Not only can it help you grow your customer base and generate referrals, but it can also provide numerous opportunities for learning, development, and growth. There's many ways to build your network on Enterprise Nation - but it seems not everyone is aware of them. Here's Dan's top tips for using the Enterprise Nation platform to grow your network:
"It takes time to build relationships. But with these tools we're making it easy to connect with the right people:
Groups: A new feature on Enterprise Nation, members can join groups to expand their network and connect with people who share their interests
Events: There are hundred of events to choose from, whether in person or online and they are a great way to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, learn from experts, support other small business members, and expand your network
Connections: Increase your business network of like-minded advisers or connect with an adviser to seek help. You'll find connection suggestions within your dashboard based on location, what sector you trade in, and what help you've told us you need
Messaging: Once you're connected to other members you can communicate with them directly via our secure online messaging service, plus we'll notify you by email when someone messages
New member dashboard: One of the biggest changes to the platform is your new-look, personalised dashboard. We'll be filling this with bespoke content recommendations, events that we think you'll enjoy, and connection suggestions - all based on industries and sectors that you work in, and the support that you've told us you need most."
We recently introduced a new feature to make it even easier to expand your network and connect with people who share your interests: Groups. If you've not yet joined any groups, you should. Dan's job is to make sure that members are finding the support that they need:
"There's a group for everyone. Some focus on certain disciplines, such as social media marketing or small business finance. Others are industry specific, so if you own a skincare brand, for example, you'll enjoy our Beauty and cosmetics group. There are groups based on location too, helping you to connect with business owners within your local area.
"As with most new features, Groups is still evolving and there's plenty of room for more. If you spot a gap just let us know and we'll create one and find just the right person to manage it. And if you're an adviser member and spot a gap, feel free to create one. As a group host you can start conversations, post content and meet small businesses in need of your expertise."
Naturally there'll be times when you need the support of an expert; someone who'll provide structured, bespoke services to take your business to the next level. That's where the Enterprise Nation Marketplace comes in:
"One of the key features of your Enterprise Nation member is having access to the Marketplace. The Marketplace is exclusive to Enterprise Nation members and allows you to connect with business advisers, browse and book their services, or request a free discovery call to get to know them better. Using your feedback, we're making it even easier for you to find the support that you need. Our revamped Marketplace will allow you to seamlessly browse and book businesses service.
"We'll be launching the new-look Marketplace next week, so keep your eyes peeled."
You told us that you sometimes felt overwhelmed by the volume of resources available on our platform. It's part of Dan's job to make sure that we connect you with the resources you need most, fast. Here he explains how we're making this journey easier.
"We have so many resources available for businesses at all stages. From e-learning and event recordings, to podcasts and expert blog posts. Using upgraded search technology for a superior matching experience, you'll now be able to search the platform using key words and filters. We've also been having a spring clean to ensure that the results are current, relevant and informative."
For those just starting out on their journey we've recently been publishing some essential guides for start-ups, from how to write a business plan to funding and sales advice. And you can now search for business services by topic, making it easier to find the right adviser for your needs.
If you can't find what you're looking for, just ask us. Feel free to pose your questions in groups too - where like-minded business owners are happy to share advice."